Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has asserted Thailand’s Public Health Ministry will not support legalizing electronic cigarettes in the kingdom.
His remarks came during a meeting with board members of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) to discuss issues related to tobacco control on Monday.
In his role as chairman of the ThaiHealth board, Mr. Anutin said he has noticed electronic cigarettes being used more frequently by teenagers and some of those teenagers want to have their sales legalized.
He stated that the ministry would not support legalizing e-cigarettes.
The Department of Disease Control (DDC) is reviewing current regulations with the goal of determining if they should be revised or revised rules issued to help improve the control of electronic cigarettes, Mr. Anutin said.
He added, however, that current laws can still restrict the sale of e-cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes impact tobacco farmers
He added that the DDC has also been asked to coordinate with police to develop a solution to prevent the popularity of electronic cigarettes from increasing in the future.
ThaiHealth’s second deputy chairman, Dr. Surachet Satitniramai, said that many business operators are trying to legalize the import of e-cigarettes into the country, which is a topic of concern among the committee members.
He predicted that electronic cigarettes would have a big impact on tobacco farmers. The materials of e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but chemicals, so farmers will lose income from e-cigarettes.”
In addition, it has a direct impact on [public] health, as well as on the government’s economy-directing plans for agricultural groups.
You can find a wide variety of flavors in e-cigarettes that contain nicotine. The nicotine they deliver is often amplified beyond that of traditional cigarettes.
Most of the ingredients in these products are not clearly labeled because the popularity of these products outpaces regulations and oversight.
The science of inhaling the chemicals in e-cigarettes is still relatively new, so the health effects of inhaling the chemicals they contain are just now emerging.
New York University researchers found that using e-cigarettes doubled the risk of erectile dysfunction in men aged 20 and older.
In spite of this, it is well established that cigarette smoking has harmful effects.
In Thailand, smoking is the leading cause of early death and disability, with almost 50,000 Thais dying from tobacco use every year – far exceeding the Covid-19 mortality rate.
It is estimated that about half of smokers die as a result of smoking-related diseases in the world.
According to the Royal College of Physicians, e-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes. It stated in a report that the health risks arising from long-term vapor inhalation from e-cigarettes do not exceed 5% of the harm caused by smoking tobacco.
Meanwhile, the United Nations fully supports Thailand’s ban on electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, and urges the Thai Government to take strong measures to prevent the harms of tobacco use among Thais, especially youth.